The aim of this project is to spread the message that coal and unconventional fossil fuels, such as the oil sands, pose an unacceptable risk to humanity. This is because of the degree to which burning them increases the risk of catastrophic or runaway climate change.
All topics relating to coal and unconventional fossil fuels are within the scope of this project. For instance, that includes air pollution, mountaintop removal mining, water contamination, carbon capture and storage, social movements, legal issues, and more.
A passage from a recent book illustrates the thinking that initially motivated this site:
Today we are faced with the need to achieve rapid reductions in global fossil fuel emissions and to nearly phase out fossil fuel emissions by the middle of the century. Most governments are saying that they recognize these imperatives. And they say that they will meet these objectives with a Kyoto-like approach. Ladies and gentleman, your governments are lying through their teeth. You may wish to use softer language, but the truth is that they know that their planned approach will not come anywhere near achieving the intended global objectives. Moreover, they are now taking actions that, if we do not stop them, will lock in guaranteed failure to achieve the targets that they have nominally accepted…
[I]f coal emissions are phased out entirely and unconventional fossil fuels are prohibited, fossil fuel emissions in 2050 will be somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of emissions in 2008. In other words, the reserves of conventional oil and gas are already enough to take emissions up to the maximum levels that governments have agreed on. The IPCC estimate, in which we exploit only the most readily available oil and gas, allows the possibility of getting emissions levels back to 350 ppm this century.
-Hansen, James. Storms of My Grandchildren. p. 184-5 hardcover
This site exists to try to advance that message: that the future of the climate in which humanity must live depends on how much of the Earth’s remaining fossil fuels we burn.
This site does not exist to rebut general claims that the planet isn’t warming, that humans aren’t responsible, that the warming is not potentially dangerous, or that we should do nothing about the problem. If you want to argue about the core science, one place you can do so is here: Arguments with climate change deniers.
If you are on the fence about how serious a problem climate change is, and what we should do about it, this page may be helpful: A page for waverers.